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Nick Wisseman
Witch in the White City: A Dark Historical Fantasy/Mystery

Adult; Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror; (Market)

Thousands of exhibits. Millions of visitors. One supernatural killer.

Neva's goals at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago are simple. Enjoy the spectacle—perhaps the greatest the United States has ever put on (the world’s fair to end all world’s fairs!). Perform in the exposition’s Algerian Theatre to the best of her abilities. And don't be found out as a witch.

Easy enough … until the morning she looks up in the theatre and sees strangely marked insects swarming a severed hand in the rafters. Before she can scream, the bugs drop and swarm her.

And every one of them seems to have a stinger.

They strike fast—it only takes them a moment to inject her with so much venom that the same strange marks begin to rise on her skin. She's horrified, but there's worse to come: once the insects disperse, a Columbian Guard notices her rashes and warns that five people with similar sores have been murdered and dismembered. Before they died, the victims also seem to have lost their minds.

Neva considers fleeing the exposition. But that won't stop her from going mad. So she marshals her powers and searches for the killer.

Within hours, it becomes clear he's searching for her too.

An intricate story with a breakneck pace, Witch in the White City blends history, mystery, and magic in a way that will appeal to fans of The Devil in the White City, The Golem and the Jinni, and Black Leopard, Red Wolf.

Neva Freeman, a dancer with a magical ability to reshape her bones at will, races to find a killer plaguing Chicago’s 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in this thrilling historical fantasy from Wisseman (the Red Wraith series). Wisseman immediately strikes a balance between electric pacing and precise descriptions as a swarm of insects with sickle-shaped markings attacks Neva during a performance in the Algerian Theatre. She breaks out in a rash of identical markings, and Wiley, a handsome member of the Columbian guards, informs her that several dead bodies have been found with the same rash. Then Neva’s brother, Augie, disappears after he’s targeted by the next insect swarm. Historical details provide a vivid image of the fair and capture painful period racism as Neva’s search for Augie leads her into dangerous encounters with anarchists, a club that reveres serial killers, and the killer himself. Along the way, she discovers frightening evidence that the insects’ venom drives its victims mad and uncovers a magical link between the victims. Riveting action and startling plot twists throughout snowball into a shocking yet satisfying conclusion. The result is a wild ride sure to please lovers of supernatural historical mysteries. (Self-published)